Rebekah Jones bonds out of Leon County Jail

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 8:50 PM CST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Former Department of Health employee Rebekah Jones posted bond Monday morning after turning herself in to authorities Sunday night.

Jones is accused of accessing a state emergency alert system and taking confidential information from the Department of Health.

There were three messages police attribute to Jones.

All of them urged Department of Health employees to ‘speak out before another 17,000 are dead’.

“You have been charged with a third degree felony,” said Judge John Cooper at Jones’ first court appearance.

The state requested she be prohibited from accessing the internet as a condition of her release.

“It’s literally trying to kill a gnat with an axe. It’s simply not practical,” said Jones’ Attorney John Baptiste while arguing against the state’s terms.

The judge declined to prohibit her from internet access across the board.

He set her bail at $2,500 on the condition she not access any state computer systems.

“My point is to ensure that she doesn’t do anything through the internet that is illegal,” said Cooper.

Police confiscated Jones’ computer during a search of her home in December.

In the probable cause affidavit police said they found evidence on Jones’ computer that linked her to the messages.

They also said they found she had downloaded confidential contact information for more than 19,000 people.

Jones is also facing a cyber stalking charge from 2019.

Her latest arrest violated a plea deal that had been previously agreed upon.

Upon her release, Jones had little to say about the charges, but did tell reporters she had tested positive for COVID after entering the jail.

“I just wanted to tell you guys to make sure you take care of your own health. COVID is by no means over and we’re still going to be dealing with this virus for a lot longer,” said Jones.

Jones faces a maximum of six years in prison.

Her lawyer vowed to vigorously fight the charges.

She’s armed with a deep wallet, having raised more than half a million dollars between two GoFundMe accounts.

Jones was fired from the Department of Health in May of 2020 for what the state described as ‘insubordination’.

Jones has claimed she was fired for refusing to manipulate COVID statistics put out by the state.

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